Everybody knows that starting up a new comic book is hard these days. Trying to create a new world to tell stories is even harder. But that hasn't stopped comic vets Dan Jolley ("Obergeist," "Firestorm"), Marie Croall ("Lone Wolf: Queen Of Thieves," "Voltron") and Brandon Jerwa ("GI Joe: Frontline") from taking a shot at it with their new joint effort, Voicebox Comics.
Starting from an idea that Jerwa had, the three creators knew they wanted to do something a little different than what they saw being published. They were looking for a chance to show their real talents, and since they couldn't find a venue to do it, they decided to create one. Voicebox Comics was born.
Voicebox Comics will be published by Speakeasy Comics, starting with two mini-series and a graphic novel. Jolley will be handling "Sawed-Off Mojo," a two fisted detective tale steeped in the supernatural. Jerwa is doing a different take on superheros with "Bastion," where it's not radioactive insects or exploding planets that give the heroes their powers, but magic. Croall's graphic novel is a dark tale of horror and loss aimed solidly at the fans creepy psychological horror like "The Ring" or "The Grudge."
We spoke with the creators about their new series, the difficulty of starting up a new book in the current environment and whatever else their minds. First up is Marie Croall, author of "Shelter," Voicebox's horror title.
"'Shelter' is about the one moment when your life goes horribly wrong and the only thing you find yourself doing is making it worse," Croall told CBR News. "It focuses on Katie, a woman who has the near perfect modern life complete with loving husband, fab job and a baby on the way. When a senseless act of violence unleashes her dormant magical abilities, she leaves everything behind to try to figure out who she's become. That's when everything goes horribly wrong and while trying to make up for her mistakes, she begins to ruin everyone she's trying to help."
The art duties on "Shelter" will be handled by relative newcomer Aleksandar Sotirovski, who is doing virtually everything, but stapling the books together himself.
"He's going to be huge, he's so talented. He's doing everything himself as well, penciling, inking and lettering," said Croall, who added she almost didn't land Sotirovsky for the title, "After several failed attempts at finding an artist, I went to a publisher I knew and asked for a favor. He sent me Aleksandar's samples and everything just went perfectly from there."
VOICEBOX is a labor of love for everyone involved, but Croall is confident that even in the era of the ultra-super-mega-crossover and aggressive marketing from the big two publishers, quality will speak for itself.
"We're not into over-hyping our books; the stories and the art are outstanding and we've put a lot of time into these books,' Croall said, "Of course that being said, we've also put out a preview book and done a few cons. We're just beginning to do some more promotion, but all of it will be focused on content rather than flash."
"Shelter" is a horror book that focuses more on terror than on gore and bloodshed, and Croall believes that any fan of the creeping terror of J Horror films won't walk away disappointed. It's a book that is close to her heart, and one she hopes will find it's way to chill the blood of horror fans everywhere.
"Shelter has taken a long time to get right and it's at a really weird stage right now," said Croall. "I don't want to ruin the impact by going too in depth on the details, but at the same time I want to provide a compelling reason to buy this book. I'm aware that is isn't for everyone, but if you're into character driven psychological horror, you might dig it. "
"Shelter" is an original graphic novel that debuts in March from Spreakeasy Comics. If your comic shop hasn't already ordered it, do terrible things to them until they do.
Return tomorrow when we talk with Dan Jolley about his Voicebox Comics book, "Sawed-Off Mojo."